Numale German Green endorses the degrowth ecosocialism of Jason Hickel, implicitly calling for a socialist revolution led by the peoples of the global south to disarm and deindustrialise the West
This slightly cross-eyed numale is a physician named Johannes Wagner. He was elected on a Green Party list to the Bundestag in 2021, and as you might expect he is totally crazy. A few days ago, Wagner had occasion to tweet that “we … need to talk about #postgrowth in politics,” because “many things must shrink,” while others, such as renewable energy and the “social professions,” have to grow. Because Wagner’s party is doing its level best to shrink all manner of stuff at the moment, above all the German economy, we would do well to take him seriously.
The media sell Green policies as a necessary response to the scientific problem of global warming. They cast reducing emissions as a technocratic endeavour steered by dispassionate apolitical experts who are merely following the science. If you scratch the surface, however, you quickly find that there is very little science-following to be found in the Green ideological morass. In his demand for “postgrowth,” Wagner links to a widely lampooned Nature commentary about how “Degrowth can work” and how “wealthy countries can create prosperity while using less materials and energy if they abandon economic growth as an objective.” Have a taste:
Wealthy economies should abandon growth of gross domestic product (GDP) as a goal, scale down destructive and unnecessary forms of production to reduce energy and material use, and focus economic activity around securing human needs and well-being. This approach, which has gained traction in recent years, can enable rapid decarbonization and stop ecological breakdown while improving social outcomes.
The lead author of this nonsense is “ecosocialist” Jason Hickel, a leading intellectual of the Degrowth movement. He is another numale of precisely the same phenotype as Johannes Wagner:
A while ago, I set a rule for myself not to talk about the degrowthers, because addressing their idiocy feels akin to refuting the doctrines of Afrocentrism or debunking astrology. There are some ideas that are so dumb you cannot even discuss them without seeming like an idiot yourself. Since a member of the German Bundestag has explicitly endorsed Hickel’s philosophy, and the Greens in general continue to flirt with insane degrowth ideas, however, I feel an exception is warranted.
Hickel’s oeuvre is amazing. His latest article, for example, argues that the “global north” owes the “global south” $192 trillion in “compensation for atmospheric appropriation.” Elsewhere he has proposed the concept of “capitalogenic disease,” to describe the negative health outcomes associated with “capitalism,” an economic system that has presided over unprecedented increases in abundance and human life expectancy. I promise that I am not cherry-picking; you can select literally any item from Hickel’s resumé at random; all of it is equally astonishing.